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Hey Kitty! Yes, you. A new study suggests household cats can respond to the sound of their own names.
No surprise to you or most cat owners, right? But Japanese scientists said Thursday that they've provided the first experimental evidence that cats can distinguish between words that we people say.
Kind - Dogs - Communication - People - Lot
So you're kind of like dogs, whose communication with people has been studied a lot more, and who've been shown to recognize hundreds of words if they're highly trained. Sorry if the comparison offends you, Kitty.
Atsuko Saito of Sophia University in Tokyo says there's no evidence cats actually attach meaning to our words, not even their own names. Instead, they've learned that when they hear their names they often get rewards like food or play, or something bad like a trip to the vet. And they hear their names a lot. So the sound of it becomes special, even if they don't really understand it refers to their identity.
Saito - Colleagues - Results - Research - Journal
Saito and colleagues describe the results of their research in the journal Scientific Reports. In four experiments with 16 to 34 animals, each cat heard...
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A pox on both their houses!